Going to your local farmers’ market is a fantastic way to get the very freshest ingredients for the meals that you make. The fresher the ingredients, the easier it is to prepare a beautiful dish with very little fuss.
When at the farmers’ market, use your senses to guide you towards what to buy. Smell, taste, and feel the foods. The fruits and vegetables should both look and feel alive. Taste is the best way to understand food, so be sure to sample the items that interest you.
Take advantage of the growers being there and ask questions. Questions like, where did the food come from? Is the produce certified organic? Is the meat certified organic and grass-fed? Are the eggs certified organic and from pastured hens? Is the fish sustainably caught? Gathering as much information as you can about the items you are buying helps you to make better decisions about the foods you choose.
Try going to the farmers’ market without buying for a specific recipe. It is much more fun to pick out the things that look, smell, and taste the best. The beauty of real food will inspire you in the kitchen. Once you return home, you can get creative and combine your ingredients as you see fit. Simply roasting vegetables or quickly steaming them can bring out the best in what you chose to purchase. Adding quality olive oil and vinegar can also bring out the best in your foods.
Don't forget to grab some fresh herbs while shopping. This is another simple way to add character to almost anything that you make. The growers most often will let you sample a little taste of the herbs if you are unfamiliar with their flavor.
Set aside time to enjoy your shopping experience. Immerse yourself in all that it has to offer. Make friends with the growers so that they will help you find the best of what they have to offer each time you return.